tyranny

Obama Panel Seeks Totalitarian Control: Universal Mental Health Screening

America’s Dictator Must Be Impeached

Introduction by Karl Pomeroy
Quemado Institute
February 27, 2016

Alex Newman, investigative journalist, The New American

Alex Newman, investigative foreign correspondent  for The New American

A looming prospect that may be hard to accept for American intellectuals, natural health advocates, individualists, free thinkers, students of yoga, dissenters, and dedicated nonconformists is the proposed totalitarian intrusion into our innermost mental processes recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force. According to investigative journalist Alex Newman, this influencial panel, appointed by the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is recommending mandatory testing among many segments of population for a fabricated psychological illness called “depression”, otherwise known as unhappiness, and is seeking to extend this requirement to all Americans over the age of the twelve.

If diagnosed, the individual would be required to take what have been proven to be dangerous and harmful drugs to “counteract” what used to be considered a normal state of mind for people in adverse circumstances.

The illegally acting US government, of course, is not about to correct the cause of these adverse circumstances, which include the closing of many retail businesses and restaurants due to a stalled economy that leaves us with little to enjoy economically, the economic deprivation itself stemming from lack of opportunity for productive employment, the fact that much available high-salary employment involves death delivery at bomb factories like Raytheon, the fact that American High Schools are built like prisons that confine students while teaching them little, that higher education is affordable almost exclusively to the well-off, and that the US military is slaughtering people in foreign countries even as America becomes the laughingstock of the world.

Obama’s government is obviously looking for people who “might cause trouble.” The DHHS could easily project the President’s well-deserved paranoia onto anyone who thinks differently, such as natural health advocates who avoid medications, eat well, exercise, take nutritional supplements and don’t go to doctors. Or yoga practitioners who need pure clear minds for meditative study. Or patriotic individualists who hate being told what to do.

Universally required mental screening would be an outrageous step toward totalitarian tyranny. Investigative historian Eric Zuesse contends that the US is already a dictatorship. There is certainly substance to his argument. But in reality, many of us still enjoy near-complete freedom, with the exception of income tax filing and occasional jury duty. For those of us who persistently seek freedom, that rightful condition can still be attained.

Mandatory mind testing would bring an end to freedom.

What can we do to protect ourselves? First, elect Donald Trump, since Hillary Clinton would no doubt support Obama’s Orwellian proposal. Second, take control of our personal lives and dispel any symptoms of depression, so we pass the DHHS test with flying colors. Third, impeach Obama. Fourth, become an expatriot.

Ron Paul has discussed this new threat to freedom in his weekly column presented below. Following that is a substantial commentary by Alex Newman from The New American.

Mandatory Depression Screening Is a Depressing Thought
By Ron Paul

Ron Paul Institute
February 7, 2016

Ron Paul

Ron Paul

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended mandatory depression screening for all Americans. The task force wants to force health insurance companies to pay for the screening. Basic economics, as well as the Obamacare disaster, should have shown this task force that government health insurance mandates harm Americans.

Government health insurance mandates raise the price of health insurance. Consumers will respond to this increase by either choosing to not carry health insurance or by reducing their consumption of other goods and services. Imposing new health insurance mandates will thus make consumers, many of whom are already suffering from Obamacare’s costly mandates, worse off by forcing them to deviate from their preferred consumption patterns.

Mandatory depression screening will not just raise insurance costs. In order to ensure that the screening mandate is being properly implemented, the government will need to create a database containing the results of the screenings. Those anti-gun politicians who want to forbid anyone labeled “mentally ill” from owning a firearm will no doubt want to use this database as a tool to deprive individuals of their Second Amendment rights.

If the preventive task force has its way, Americans could lose their Second Amendment, and possibly other, rights simply because they happened to undergo their mandatory depression screening when they were coping with a loved one’s passing or a divorce, or simply having a bad day. As anyone who has been mistakenly placed on the terrorist watch list can attest, it is very difficult to get off a government database even when the government clearly is in error. Thus, anyone mistakenly labeled as depressed will have to spend a great deal of time and money in what may be a futile attempt to get his rights back.

Mandatory depression screening will endanger people’s health by increasing the use of psychotropic drugs. These drugs often have dangerous side effects. Their use has even been linked to suicide. The fact that almost every mass shooter was on psychotropic drugs is another good reason to oppose any policy that will increase reliance on these medicines.

The Preventive Services Task Force’s mandatory depression screening mandate is based on the fallacy that diagnosing mental health problems is analogous to diagnosing cancer or diabetes. Even mental health professionals acknowledge that there is a great deal of subjectivity in mental health diagnosis.

Consider that until 1973 homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Today, some mental health professionals think that those who believe in limited government, free-market economics, or traditional values suffer from mental disorders. If mandatory depression screening becomes a reality, it is likely this mental health screening will be expanded to cover screening for other mental illnesses. This could result in anyone with an unpopular political belief or lifestyle choice being labeled as “mentally ill.”

Even if mandatory health screening could be implemented without increasing costs or threatening liberty it would still be a bad idea. Government health care mandates undermine the basic principles of a free society. If it is legitimate for government to tell us what types of health care we must receive, then it is also legitimate for the government to tell us what to eat, when to exercise, and even how to raise our children. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, a tyranny imposed for our own good is the worst form of tyranny because it is a tyranny without limits. All who love liberty must therefore oppose mandatory depression screening, or any other health care mandate.

Ron Paul is a former U.S. congressman from Texas. This article originally appeared at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and is reprinted here with permission.

Related article:

Feds Seek “Mental Health” Testing of All Children, Adults
By Alex Newman

The New American
February 24, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Next time you visit your doctor, be careful how you respond to his questions, or you may just be branded “mentally ill” and subjected to “treatment.” That is because a panel advising the Obama administration, in partnership with Big Psychiatry, wants to make doctors subject all American adults and children over age 12 to screening for alleged “mental health” disorders — particularly depression, at least to start with. Then, anyone found to harbor any alleged mental disorder, including children as young as eight, should undergo “therapy,” often including powerful psychotropic medications that experts say have dubious value but often come with well-documented and highly dangerous side effects.

Your ObamaCare plan will be forced to pay for it, whether you want it or not, thanks to the federal government’s commandeering of the health-insurance industry under the so-called Affordable Care Act. And eventually, younger and younger children will be in Big Brother’s crosshairs for mental and behavioral health “services,” whether parents want it or not. School teachers, social workers, and more are all already being enlisted in the federal government’s search for supposed “mental and behavioral health” issues — a list that is perpetually expanding as psychiatrists invent new “illnesses.” The outcry against the federal government’s obsession with your mind and the minds of America’s children, though, is growing louder, as critics call the agenda “depressing” and worry whether it is another scheme to disarm more Americans.

The controversial “recommendations” include screening all Americans between the ages of 12 and 18 for depression. A separate but related recommendation seeks to have all U.S. adults checked for “mental illness,” too. And consider that the list of “illnesses” is subjective (homosexuality was a mental disorder a few decades ago) and is constantly expanding as psychiatrists vote to create new ones, literally, as part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual — the “Bible” of psychiatry that has been widely criticized, even by leading psychiatrists.

The latest demands come from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, or USPSTF. The influential outfit, appointed by the Obama administration’s increasingly radical Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recommends various unconstitutional federal health policies for Big Brother to decree into pseudo-law via regulation.

Its latest recommendations for children and adolescents 12 and older were published earlier this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “The USPSTF recommends screening for major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years,” the HHS task force said in the summary of its position. “Screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.” Why the federal government believes it has any business coming between patients and doctors — or where it believes the constitutional authority for such meddling is found — was not immediately clear.

The outfit also left the door open for recommending such “screening” for children under 12, too. “The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for MDD in children aged 11 years and younger,” the Obama HHS panel wrote. The recommendations also call for using controversial medications such as Prozac to drug children between 12 and 17, while advocating powerful psychotropic substances such as Lexapro for children as young as eight.

Already, about one in 10 American school-aged boys has been labeled and drugged under the guise of “Attention Deficit Disorder” (ADD) and “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD). However, even the late Dr. Leon Eisenberg, often described as the “father” or “inventor” of the diagnosis, said before his death in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel that the alleged disease was “a prime example of a fabricated disorder.” With the list of “disorders” expanding rapidly, and with that list labeling more and more normal behaviors as symptoms of alleged illness, critics have warned that the trend is deeply troubling.

When it comes to adults, the advisory panel, which purports to be independent, wants to cast an even broader net. “The USPSTF recommends screening for depression in the general adult population, including pregnant and postpartum women,” said the outfit, which adds that its views should not be construed as the official position of the “Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality” or Obama’s HHS. “Screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.”

In its “rationale” for recommending that all U.S. adults be screened for depression, the panel claims that the “illness” is “common in patients seeking care in the primary care setting.” It also cites “adequate evidence” allegedly showing some “improvements” if its advice is followed.

Then, unsurprisingly, the outfit downplays the very serious risks documented by The New American magazine and many other sources — including government and Big Pharma itself. For instance, the panel admits that antidepressants are “associated” with harms, including an increase in suicidal behavior, an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, fetal harm, and more. But despite that, the task force “concludes with at least moderate certainty that there is a moderate net benefit” to screening all American adults. And by all, the task force means all: “The USPSTF recommends screening in all adults regardless of risk factors,” it said.

Big Pharma and Big Government were no doubt pleased with the conclusion. But not everyone was. Among those expressing concerns was Dr. Ron Paul, the liberty-minded former congressman from Texas and GOP presidential contender, who called the proposed mandatory screenings a “depressing thought” in his weekly column. “Basic economics, as well as the Obamacare disaster, should have shown this task force that government health insurance mandates harm Americans,” wrote Paul, a medical doctor. He warned that, among other problems, the scheme would raise insurance costs. Even more troubling is that it would likely result in new federal databases containing the results of the screenings, which would be used to deny even more Americans their right to keep and bear arms.

“Today, some mental health professionals think that those who believe in limited government, free-market economics, or traditional values suffer from mental disorders,” Paul explained, echoing growing concerns among watchdogs monitoring the psychiatric industry. “If mandatory depression screening becomes a reality, it is likely this mental health screening will be expanded to cover screening for other mental illnesses. This could result in anyone with an unpopular political belief or lifestyle choice being labeled as ‘mentally ill.’”

Other commentators also directly suggested that the new demands for more “mental health” screening may be related to Obama’s agenda to infringe on gun rights. “With executive actions aimed at getting guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, the timing of this report’s release is rather curious,” wrote Trey Sanchez with Truth Revolt, a conservative-leaning outlet. “It seems reasonable to assume that mass screenings will produce more diagnoses of depression, even for those patients who showed up a little blue that day. But maybe that’s the point: the more people there are that can be labeled ‘mentally ill’ (indeed a disservice to those suffering from actual mental illnesses), the less gun permits approved.”

It is hardly the first time in recent memory that Obama’s HHS has demanded extreme and anti-constitutional intrusions under the guise of “health.” Indeed, the HHS has become increasingly bold in its demands for totalitarianism. Last year, for example, it unveiled a push to target American adults with vaccine mandates. In collaboration with Big Business and special interests, bureaucrats outlined the “National Adult Immunization Plan” (NAIP) to track Americans’ vaccination records, wage a massive propaganda campaign to “encourage” more inoculations, and foist more controversial vaccines on adults against their will. Critics noted that the agenda includes eventually imposing vaccines at gunpoint.

More recently, HHS, in partnership with the increasingly radical U.S. Department of Education, unveiled a draft policy statement in which families are referred to as Big Brother’s “equal partners” in child rearing. As if that was not enough, the document called for expanding “home visitation” programs. “Home visits by a nurse, social worker, or early childhood educator during pregnancy and in the first years of life can make a tremendous difference in the lives of many children and their families,” argued Obama’s HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell last year in announcing more “grants” to send government workers to family homes.

The “equal partners” scheme also comes with important “mental health” implications, as the policy statement makes clear. “Ensure constant monitoring and communication regarding children’s social-emotional and behavioral health,” the document demands. “Ensure that children’s social-emotional and behavioral needs are met and that families and staff are connected with relevant community partners, such as early childhood mental health consultants and children’s medical homes.” In the policy statement’s “recommendations” for states — much of which will be imposed through federal bribes — state governments are told to “expand early childhood mental health consultation efforts.”

Of course, there is no constitutional authority for federally mandated “mental health” exams or any other meddling in healthcare or family life. Nor is there authority for a Department of “Health and Human Services” to exist. As HHS and other unconstitutional agencies continue to expand, so does the threat they pose to the liberties, well-being, and prosperity of the American people. It is time for the public to demand that Congress defund and shut down all unconstitutional agencies before the lawlessness and totalitarianism become even more extreme.

Alex Newman is a liberty-minded journalist, educator and consultant. In addition to serving as a Europe-based foreign correspondent for The New American magazine, Alex also writes for numerous publications in the United States and abroad including WorldNetDaily, Crisis magazine, Liberty magazine, and more. He also serves as the president of Liberty Sentinel Media, Inc., a small media and information consulting firm, and teaches Advanced Economics to high school seniors through Freedom Project Education. Though born in Florida, Alex grew up on four continents and speaks four languages fluently. He received an associate’s degree in foreign languages from Miami Dade College and his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida with an emphasis on economics and international relationships. Source: The Pete Santilli Show.

Follow him on Twitter  @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at: anewman@thenewamerican.com.

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